HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN)—The body of a Houston County man missing for 28 years may have been found in a Florida river.
According to Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza, during cleanup operations from Hurricane Idalia, salvage crews were working at a boat ramp on the Steinhatchee River in Dixie County when they found a Sam’s card and identification bearing the name James Aaron Toole, who went missing in February 1995.
A release from the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office in Cross City, Florida, says workers discovered partial human remains among the items found at the ramp. After a more profound search by sheriff’s office dive teams, several pieces of a submerged vehicle and more human remains were found.
The discovery was made on Wednesday, September 27, approximately one hour and fifteen minutes from Gainesville.
Houston County Sheriff’s Captain Donovan Arias tells WDHN that he and several Houston County Sheriff’s Office officials traveled to Dixie County to assist in the investigation, and he confirmed the car to be a Chevrolet.
Sheriff Valenza says his office sent DNA to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and they are waiting for a confirmation of the identity.
The Houston County Sheriff’s Office has notified Toole’s next of kin.